As the university moves into the second week of its two-week online period, Student Health and Wellness discussed how mental health resources are being distributed to students. A variety of services including meditation, yoga and consultation will be provided virtually for students. This is part of Student Health and Wellness’ focus on providing mental health care despite the challenges of the pandemic.
On the Student Health and Wellness website, a variety of mental health resources are provided under the Managing Mental Health During the Pandemic tab. The website provides common mental health-related reactions, cognitive behavioral therapy videos for COVID-19 anxiety and the phone number of the university advice nurse for additional support.
UConn’s Director of Mental Health Kristina Stevens added that a variety of other mental health resources are provided for students during this online time including meditation, yoga, consultation and the Let’s Talk program. The Let’s Talk program is an informal confidential consultation with UConn therapists. The program is free for all students and aims to connect students with other campus resources. There are different resources available for in-state and out-of-state students, and all resources are available on the SHaW website.
“SHaW is available in a host of ways. For students in CT those include: meditation, yoga, Let’s Talk, an informal consultation with a counselor, screening, group and individual therapy, medication management, crisis support day and night and clinical case management. Services are being delivered virtually and fortunately due to past experiences we’re able to make that shift in real time. If students are continuing to reside outside of CT, they have access to meditation, yoga, Let’s Talk, case management and crisis support,” Stevens said via email.
Stevens also spoke about the importance of mental health access during the online period, as students utilized SHaW mental health resources during both the spring semesters of 2020 and 2021 as well as the fall of 2021 when many students had to stay home.
“While there was reduced occupancy in the Spring of 2020, Fall of 2020 and Spring of 2021, SHaW pivoted quickly from in-person appointments to telehealth in an effort to maintain connections, increase support and minimize disruption in a new and evolving virtual space. Students accessed all of the offerings available including individual, group, medication management, etc.,”Kristina Stevens, UConn Director of Mental Health.
She continued, saying that during the previous online periods there was an 80% increase in mental health case management by SHaW, emphasizing the importance of supporting students during this critical period.
“We did see an 80% increase in clinical case management by virtue of so many students being in communities outside of Storrs and working to connect them to the right supports to meet their needs,” Stevens said.